Birth Control Options While Breastfeeding

For breastfeeding mothers keen on keeping a gap between their gestations, an array of birth control options exist with each one having its pros & cons.

Till the time a mother exclusively breastfeeds (nursing on a frequent basis round-the-clock without any supplemental feeds), the infant is below six months old & the mom hasn’t begun getting her menses, she has over ninety-eight percent protection from getting pregnant. This phase of exclusively breastfeeding would mean absence of any supplemental feeds of formulas/ water as well as least or no usage of pacifiers. Breasts would be meeting every sucking need of the infant that translate to demand-feeding 24/7. Till the time the mom doesn’t bleed vaginally subsequent to fifty-six days post-delivery, & the infant isn’t receiving any supplemental feedings, her likelihood of conceiving is merely around two per cent (which is comparable to the combination birth control pills having ninety-eight to ninety-nine per cent efficacy when used daily sans any dosage missed out).

It is crucial to comprehend that no sooner is there reduced nursing because of reasons like the infant consuming supplemental feeds or breastfeeds lesser frequently, the birth control shielding dips & other birth control options need to be taken into consideration.

Peak effectual suppression of fertility is the infant not going more than 4 hours through the day & 6 hours during nights amid feeds. Patterns of nursing is a major factor, however the maternal chemistry additionally is an influencing factor. Several moms breastfeed sans supplement feeds & yet get their menses within the initial couple of months of breastfeeding. Some moms whose infants are sleeping throughout the night or having supplemental feeds would not be getting their menses for a year or longer. Several females don’t get their periods till 2 years or more. Following the preliminary lochia discharge (blood loss that women experience 2-4 weeks post-delivery) has halted, breastfeeding moms would generally not be experiencing bleeding from vagina for many months. Mostly, the foremost menses would occur sans the mother ovulating. Several females term it as a caveat menses, & taking it as an indication that their fertility has returned. Mostly light blood loss or spotting is also a foremost sign. Vaginal blood loss or spotting lasting over a few days must be deemed as an indicator of maternal fertility reinstated. It is nothing strange for moms to experience erratic menses when she nurses. Several, though not all moms spot a slight dip in their milk production during their menses, however once flow has stopped the milk supply would augment.

Thinking in advance about viable birth control options prior to maternal fertility returning is vital. It needs to be strongly emphasized that estrogen-based hormonal birth control methods must be evaded as much as doable.

Alterations in the bodies of lactating mothers might entail dryness in vagina because of lesser estrogen levels. Sex can be lesser discomforting when lubricants that are water based like KY jelly are deployed. Oxytocin released at the time of orgasms might be causal to the breasts leaking or spraying – something that could be surprising for the duo mates. Breastfeeding the infant or some extent of milk expression prior to sex, pressure application when milk is letting down & setting aside tissues for catching any leakages might help.

The foremost contraceptive option for breastfeeding moms is non hormonal ones like condoms that are easy to get, zero effects on nursing and quite effectual when deployed in a correct manner. Condom even offers some extent of shielding from STIs & risk-free for maternal and fetal side, though could cause irritation to tissue in vagina & added lubricant use might be necessary.

Diaphragm is additionally known to be causing no effects on nursing, & could be quite effectual when deployed in the correct manner. Its efficacy is based on spermicide usage & their re-fitting is to be done following delivery & the uterine shape returning to pre-gestational form. Spermicide doesn’t affect nursing & has good efficacy when deployed as per guidelines. They might cause vaginal irritation & also to males. It isn’t known to permeate into breast milk & impact the infant in any manner.

Intrauterine device also doesn’t affect nursing & is quite effectual. Likely risks are the IUD being expelled or perforated uterus due to improper placement or insertion prior to six weeks post-delivery.

Lasting birth control methods like tubal ligation & vasectomies don’t impact nursing & are almost hundred per cent effectual. Such techniques cannot be reversed & must solely be an option for those not keen on bearing kids anymore. Vasectomies are deemed minor procedures carrying least side-effects. Tubal ligation might entail brief maternal-child time apart & some risks which surgeries generally have. Anaesthesia might permeate into milk & cause sedation to the infant. Usually tubal ligation carries greater maternal risks & deemed far complicated surgical procedure as compared to vasectomies done for fathers.

Innate family planning is also a non hormonal means of contraception that entails comprehending the indications & symptoms of infertility & might need protracted spans of being abstinent. It doesn’t impact nursing & has good efficacy when deployed in the correct manner. Since it might be tricky in interpreting indications of fertility when nursing, hence such technique might need added training for interpreting fertility signs when lactating.

For breastfeeding mothers who choose to deploy hormonal contraceptive methods, the other option is progestin-only ones like injectable – Depo Provera & implant – Norplant – that are quite effectual & might also boost milk supply. Though some extent of the hormone might gain entry into milk, there’s absence of proof of any detrimental effects from the miniscule quantities of hormones which pass into breast milk. It is advisable that the usage of progestin hormones be postponed for a minimum of 6 weeks post-delivery because of the likelihood of the hormones getting in the way of earlier establishing of lactation.

The estrogen-based birth control is the final option that is highly effectual though mostly decreasing milk flow & some extent of estrogen seeping into maternal milk for instance, combination oral birth control. There’s absence of proof that it directly has an unfavourable impact on infants of moms who take combo pills, there is proof that among several females, estrogen could be leading to lesser milk flow & earlier weaning. When other means of contraceptive could not be deployed & the combo pills are the sole choice then nursing could & must be carried on as it provides several advantages health-wise & nutritionally which are crucial for the breastfeeding baby or tot. In case the mom opts for this then it is important that monitoring of the infant’s weight be done so that sufficient intakes are ascertained. In several moms, a small dip in milk supply is irrelevant & anyways, the advantages of nursing certainly surpass the drawbacks.

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